LINCOLN — While Nebraska's defense is touted as the more experienced bunch, the offense earned effusive praise Monday for its performance during Friday's scrimmage.
It came from outside linebacker Garrett Nelson — who said he didn't want to get on the "hype train" — and Scott Frost, who said NU's receivers had their best day since he arrived at NU.
"A lot of guys getting reps and there's just a lot of talent at that position," Frost said. "I'm excited about that group."
Frost said Samori Touré, Omar Manning, Barron Miles and Will Nixon all made "good plays" Friday.
Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt said he's been impressed by the speed of NU's receivers.
"A lot of deep shots," Taylor-Britt said, adding it's different from his first three seasons at NU. "It's a big deal."
Taylor-Britt identified Touré, Zavier Betts, Alante Brown and Manning as the guys who can stretch the field. Taylor-Britt said Manning has a "little gear" other receivers don't have.
Frost said another receiver, Oliver Martin, has been "exceptional" this spring.
More notes from Monday's interviews:
» Frost said backup quarterback Logan Smothers had his best practice as a Husker during the scrimmage that lasted 120-130 plays.
"Simply put, I thought he threw it the best he's thrown it," Frost said. "And that continues to improve. He and Mario (Verduzco) have been working on his stroke a little bit. He's always been a quick decision-maker, sees the field really well, accurate, gets the ball out of his hands, but he pushed the ball more downfield on Friday. He certainly can run well, so he made a couple plays with his feet too."
NU will not be doing much with the throwing motion of Heinrich Haarberg, the freshman quarterback out of Kearney Catholic.
"It jumps out of his hand," Frost said. "So with him it's more getting comfortable with the offense, getting confidence, making sure he's making the right reads. His ability will take care of the rest of it."
» Walk-on Matt Masker, also from Kearney Catholic, may be NU's No. 3 quarterback at this point because of his mastery of the offense.
» Frost said starting quarterback Adrian Martinez looks "faster" after good work in winter conditioning and is playing with more confidence.
"When he takes off right now, he looks like a 4.4 guy," Frost said of Martinez's 40-yard dash time. "A guy who can really run and be a weapon. I think he did a lot of work in the offseason. Mostly, I think Adrian's just in a good place mentally right now. I think he's more comfortable, playing with a lot more confidence."
» Freshman running backs Gabe Ervin and Jaquez Yant stood out in Friday's scrimmage, Frost said. Yant, a walk-on from Tallahassee, Florida, may not be a walk-on much longer if he continues progressing, Frost said.
» Left guard Ethan Piper said the competition at both guard spots is fierce. He's rotating at left guard with Broc Bando. The emphasis for the offensive line this spring is physicality and finishing blocks, Piper said.